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Robert Brocks (1666–1734)

Mayor of Oxford 1726/7


Robert Brocks (Brox, Brooks or Brock) was born in 1666.

He became a tailor in Market Street, Oxford (then known as Jesus College Lane)., and took on ten apprentices between 1697 and 1731, namely Hamlet Crapper (August 1697), Richard Haddock (transferred from Thomas Parker in March 1704/5), Giles Jenkins (May 1707), Henry Wallington (transferred from John Drewett in October 1710), John Betteris (January 1713), William Jordan (March 1715), Richard Breese (May 1720), Francis Woodward (April 1724), and Richard Wright (June 1732, and transferred to John Townsend on Brocks’s death).

Brocks was first elected on to the Common Council in September 1705. In October 1711 he was elected Senior Chamberlain, and in September 1715 Senior Bailiff.

In 1715 Brocks is listed as having a council lease costing 4d. for a tenement in the North East ward, and in March 1716 he was granted a lease of the house in which he lived (part of Dr Walker’s lease) for  years for a fine of £6 10s.

In March 1723 Brocks was elected one of the eight Mayor’s Assistants, and it was expected (wrongly) that he would be elected as Mayor the next year: Thomas Hearne remarked, “It was exspected that one Brock, a Taylour in Jesus College Lane, would have been the Man, he making great Interest for it, whereas Appleby seem’d not at all to stir.” In 1725, Hearne tells us that Mr Brock might have been elected Mayor instead of Robert Vicaris, if he had not the previous year opposed his senior, William Applebee, thinking he could carry the vote in the absence of Applebee at Stratford-upon-Avon.

In September 1726 Robert Brocks was eventually chosen Mayor (for 1726/7), nominating Francis Kibblewhite as his Child.

† Robert Brocks died in the summer of 1734 at the age of 68 and (with his surname spelt in the register as “Brooks”) was buried inside St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church on 9 August that year.


See also:

  • Malcolm Graham, Oxford City Apprentices 1697–1800, entries numbered 17, 106, 419, 479, 759, 839, 1051, 1196, 1487
  • PCC Will PROB 11/670/436 (Will of Robert Brocks, Tailor of Oxford, proved 28 April 1735)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 20 September, 2018

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